End of Year Book Survey

Found via Lianne @ Caffeinated Life, hosted by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner. I will post my general annual review tomorrow, but I like the idea of having more than one way to look back on the year. This survey looks at specific books read.

  • 2014 Reading Stats
    • Number of books read -76 (I will finish Fluent Forever tomorrow). My goal was 75. Hurrah! 
    • Number of re-reads – Four: The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Fault in Our Stars and Throwaway Daughter. I didn’t read White is for Witching, which I have read every year since it’s release. D: Moving in August messed up so many of my reading habits. Dang ;_; Book blogging has made me conscious of how many books I want to read, which has led to a decrease in my rereading. There are so many books I have read and loved, though, I want to revisit them. I think in 2015 I shall try to reread 12 favourites.
    • Genre you read the most from – Unknown. I don’t shelve my read books by genre (maybe I should…). I tried to judge from scanning the covers but it looks my reading was pretty varied this year!
  • Best in Books
    • Best book read – I don’t read many books from a single genre (which is to say, these genres didn’t have a lot of contenders) but it lets me list more than one favourite so I’m doing it that way πŸ˜‰
    • Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’tAll the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. The cover and description had me excited, but the story didn’t grab me.
    • Most surprising book read –  I’ll Give You the Sun. I can’t remember a book that made me gasp in shock so many times.
    • Book you ‘pushed’ the most people to read (and they did) – Ehm, whether they read it is uknown but I strongly recommended I’ll Give You the Sun and The Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender to my friends who read YA and trust my recommendations.
    • Best series started – I don’t read series.
      • Best sequelThe Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (Book wwo of The Girl of Fire and Thorns)
      • Best conclusionUndivided by Neal Shusterman (I wouldn’t normally give this book a ‘best’ distinction but it was the only conclusion I read this year)
    • Favourite author discovered – Ooh, split between Hannah Kent (Burial Rites) and Leslye Walton (Ava Lavender). I look forward to whatever these authors publish next.
    • Best book from a genre you don’t typically readI’ll Give You the Sun. I’m extraordinarily picky about YA; I only read a couple a year. I’m not usually too impressed but this book connected with me.
    • Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable bookThe Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. I won this book in a giveaway during the summer and felt in the right mood for it last week. I blazed through it, though it’s also not something I usually read, being YA and fantasy. Something about it had me hooked!
    • Most likely to reread next yearAva Lavender and The Haunting of Hill House. Ava I really enjoyed and would like to revisit. Haunting is a good seasonal read, I think, and could benefit from a few rereads.
    • Favourite coverAva Lavender and Burial Rites are contenders but how about I go with All the Birds, Singing to mix it up a bit. 
    • Most memorable character – Elinor from The Haunting of Hill House. It’s not often I identify with a character. Elinor surprised me in that way.
    • Most beautifully writtenAva Lavender or Burial Rites. I can’t choose between favourites! 
    • Most thought-provoking/life-changing – I didn’t read any book like that this year. Possibly The Haunting of Hill House because it made me think a lot and want to read more in the genre. Anything that drives a change in my reading habits can be ‘life-changing’ for me!
    • Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I’m a Canadian…I majored in children’s literature...how did I miss this one?? (Disclaimer: the first chapter was assigned in one of my uni courses.)
    • Favourite passage/quote -“I am knifed to the hilt with fate” (Burial Rites). I considered a number of passages from Burial Rites and The Haunting of Hill House, but this one I think stood out the most to me.
    • Shortest book – Not counting novellas, The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (135 pages)
    • Longest book – It’s always my one volume edition of The Lord of the Rings… second longest was The Secret History by Donna Tartt (658 pages).
    • Most shocking book – For me this is the same answer as most surprising book – I Will Give You the Sun. So many gasps, so many times I had to pause and let what happened sink in. 
    • OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!) – Elisa and Hector from The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Their relationship is so reasonable and realistic and believable, how can you not appreciate it, haha.
    • Favourite non-romantic relationship – The sibling relationship between Jude and Noah in I’ll Give You the Sun. Often heartbreaking but wonderfully played out.
    • Favourite book read by an author you read previously The Haunting of Hill House.
    • Best book read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure –  Burial Rites. The plot summary didn’t intrigue me but so many bloggers cried ‘the prose!’ I felt I had to investigate. I’m very happy I did!!
    • Newest fictional crush – Oscar from I’ll Give You the Sun. I can’t name any other book character I ever crushed on (well, maybe I have a crush on Faramir but who doesn’t?) but while reading this book I messaged my friend to tell her it featured a very hot British boy πŸ˜›
    • Best 2014 debut  The Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
    • Best world-building Well, it’s another no-contest if I include LotR, so that aside… difficult question! I think I’ll go again with Ava Lavender (surprise, surprise). The world isn’t especially sprawling or spectacular, but I like how the story is told over generations and you get to experience different locations and manifestations of magical abilities.
    • Most fun to readThe Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. A great fantasy adventure story, with a good dose of romance. I blazed through these books and had a fun time doing so.
    • Book that made you cry – This Star Won’t Go Out. Hooooooly, you thought TFIOS was sad? I did too, but good lord, nothing can be sadder than this book (although I mentioned earlier I have mixed feelings about its existence, the part where Wayne writes about the moment of Esther’s death is powerful.)
    • Hidden gemThe Swallow by Charris Cotter. This book didn’t get much attention but I thought it was sweet and a good ghost story.
    • Book that crushed your soul I’ll Give You the Sun (since I just used TSWGO for ‘book that made you cry’).
    • Most unique book – Ahh, I don’t read many ‘unique’ books! I guess TSWGO because of its format.
    • Book that made you most madThe War on Science by Chris Turner. GARGHHHH HARPERRRRRRR. The subtitle of this book is “Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada”. It’s a pretty depressing exploration of the Harper government’s attitude towards scientific research and evidence.
  • Your Bookish Life
    • New favourite book blog discovered – Oooh, this is tough, almost all the blogs I follow I discovered this year!  I can’t call out just one. Take a peak at my blog roll in the sidebar πŸ˜‰
    • Favourite review on your blog – I’m proud of The Haunting of Hill House and A Tale for the Time Being, both of which made me consider what I really love about the books I love.
    • Best non-review post on your blog – I don’t have many of these (I want to do more in the future)… I like some of the posts I did for Armchair BEA, such as this one on middle grade fiction. I loved doing this survey about my local library. So maybe these are ‘best’ in that I enjoyed writing them the most πŸ˜›
    • Best event that you participated in – Ahh so difficult to choose ;_; I love the readathons…I loved armchair BEA (maybe Ill go with this because the fun lasted the longest :P) I loved doing the posts for summer library challenge…
    • Best moment of bookish/blogging life – I love chatting with other bloggers in real time. One moment that I remember particularly was during the October Dewey’s 24 Read-a-thon. My breakfast plan (rice cooker oatmeal) was retweeted by the official account and I had some fun discussions with other readers about favourite breakfasts.
    • Most popular post – Armchair BEA Giveaway, 55 comments and 327 views.
    • Post you wished got a little more love – My review of “J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lost English Mythology“. I know it’s a niche essay, but it’s the first piece I was ever asked to review, so I want it to get some attention!
    • Best bookish discovery – When I visited Osaka, my friend took me to a giant bookstore with six floors. Half of one floor was all English books – kid’s books, fiction, and non-fiction (including a large selection of academic non-fiction). I was delighted to be surrounded by so many English books for the first time in months.
    • Completion of challenges/goals – My reading goal for this year was pretty general – “Read 75 books (including more non-fiction, books I own but haven’t read, books released in 2013 and 2014, books that have been on the TBR for a long time)”. I did read 75 books, and more books released recently. I’m not sure about the others, but I’m happy with what I read so I’d call that successful completion! (Always I will say “I need to read more non-fiction”)
  • Looking Ahead
    • One book you didn’t get to in 2014 but will make a priority in 2015 – Hah, there are dozens I could pick… The Road to Middle-Earth by Tom Shippey is one I meant to read all year but didn’t get around to it. I purchased the ebook so I’ll be tackling it early in the new year.
    • Book you are most anticipating (non-debut) – I’m not big on watching ahead for new books but a few have made it onto my list. Now that the Unwind dystology is completed, I’m interested in Neal Shusterman’s Challenger Deep.
      • Book you are most anticipating (sequel) The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M Valente. I look forward to this new Fairyland book featuring a different main character.
    • One goal for your reading/blogging life – read The Silmarillion. 
    • 2015 release you’ve read and recommend – Alas, none ;_; A few of the books I’m excited about are on NetGalley, but not for Canadians.

Now that I’ve finished this survey, I realize my answers were fairly repetitive…a favourite book is a favourite because it does so many things well! I only read 4 five-star books this year (not counting re-reads), and 11 one or two star books. Next year I want to read more exceptional books and less mediocre ones. I’ve also just realized 2015 will be the first year in my reading life that I don’t have to do any required reading for school…hopefully this means I will have more time to find those exceptional reads!

4 thoughts on “End of Year Book Survey”

  1. Oh, I'm so glad you liked Rae Carson's series, even though you don't normally read YA/series. Even though I *do* read YA/series, I didn't expect to like GoF&T as much as I did, so it just tickles me to see that someone who doesn't normally care for that type of book also liked it!

    For some reason I hadn't seen anything at all about Burial Rites, so that is definitely going on my TBR list. I looks intriguing.

    Happy New Year!

  2. lol I hear you re: Anne of Green Gables. Isn't it supposed to be like, required reading for us Canadians? xD

    Have fun reading The Silmarillion! I've been meaning to re-read it, actually–maybe in 2015 as well? πŸ™‚

    Dunno if I greeted you yet, but Happy New Year! Best wishes in 2015 πŸ™‚

  3. Right?! I don't know how I missed it in elementary/middle school…I did have to read a few chapters in uni but I wasn't interested then in reading the rest ^^; I'veread bits of The Silmarillion; I've been saving it for years but now that the movies are all complete, I think I'm ready to move on with it. Thanks for the New Year wishes!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Louise! I hope you enjoy Burial Rites – certainly different from GoFaT but just as gripping, I think πŸ™‚ Did you read the GoFaT novellas? I enjoyed that world so much I think I will give them a go.

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